Jeff Bender founded The Lion and The Owl, a company creating a community for LGBTQ+ youth to feel safe in while normalizing the idea of gender-neutral clothing. He recently published 2 books that would be a welcomed addition to every families collection. 

Oh, I Just Didn’t Know

Join Lily and Courtney as they visit with both sets of grandparents at home and on vacation!

Children and grandparents learn acceptance, appreciation and respect in today’s world. From lively discussions about what clothes to wear and how to dress, old compared to new technology, attending sporting events and gathering with family in the kitchen, experience the adventures of these interactions, learning and growing.

Author Jeff Bender includes thoughtful lessons and questions for each story so that grandchildren and grandparents can learn more about one another and gain perspective, since their ages are so far apart. With Assurance, Love, Courage, Confidence and the willingness to be patient and listen, people of all ages will enjoy Thoughtful Conversations for Grandparents and Grandchildren through Oh, I Just Didn’t Know

Apparel Has No Gender

When Jeff Bender’s child Courtney, who was assigned male at birth, asked for his first dress at one and a half years old, all Jeff saw was the smile and delight on his child’s face. Little did he know that he and his family were about to embark on a journey of learning, growth and acceptance that would include issues surrounding clothing, bathrooms and sport’s teams.

Parenting in today’s world is challenging, but parenting a gender-nonconforming or gender-questioning child can be confusing as well. Jeff opens up about his family’s experiences with honesty and compassion, detailing the struggles and joys of parenting two gender-fluid children. Along with his own story, Jeff shares the viewpoints of other parents, grandparents and even his own wife.

Apparel Has No Gender also provides guidance for parents wanting to learn more about gender identities and expression. Any parent will benefit from Jeff’s lessons on how to grow in understanding and parent with unconditional love and support. Stick around for his 5 Great Traits to Teach and 8 Ways to Thrive, which you can apply now to your own life then model for and teach to your children.

“I did like the book. I think it has good advice for any parent—being the annoying parent who always asks questions—and good information for parents and grandparents wanting to learn/understand this terminology that’s a pretty recent concept for us and hard to wrap our head around. The personal stories really make it relatable.” - KT, Mom

“The content was presented in a nonjudgmental, nonconfrontational, accessible way. I think it could help all families, not just families with transgender children.”  -Ni Rita Bradford, Retired Educator